Press-Republican

FYI...

December 1, 2013

5 myths about health care's 'young invincibles'

Coined by the health insurance industry, the term "young invincibles" has come to describe 18- to 34-year-olds who go without coverage because they expect to remain healthy. But young invincibles are crucial to making the Affordable Care Act work: The White House is counting on them to buy coverage under the new law, helping to spread the risk and hold down premiums for everybody. Let's debunk a few myths about who these uninsured young people are and what they want from the health-care system.

1. Young adults are uninformed about the health-care law.

Young adults tend to be about as aware of the health-care law as the rest of the population. A Kaiser Family Foundation poll in August found that 33 percent of adults had heard nothing about their state health insurance exchanges. That figure was 43 percent among 18- to 25-year-olds and 41 percent among 26- to 35-year-olds. Separate polling from the Pew Research Center found that young adults were more aware than any other demographic that the health-care law offers subsidies for low-income Americans to purchase insurance. However, they were less aware of the requirement to buy coverage.

Young Americans are especially aware of the provisions that affect their own coverage options, most prominently the option to stay on their parents' insurance plans until age 26. A Commonwealth Fund poll in March found that 62 percent of young adults knew of that program.

2. They don't want health insurance.

Young adults do have the highest uninsured rate of any demographic, with about 27 percent of people between 19 and 34 lacking insurance coverage, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. But health-care experts say this doesn't necessarily mean that they don't want insurance, but rather that they are less likely to be offered coverage through their employers. That's because more young people work part-time or hourly-wage jobs that do not offer health benefits. When offered coverage by their employers, about 80 percent of young adults sign up — about the same rate as older workers.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
FYI...
  • Hospitals let patients schedule ER visits

    Three times within a week, 34-year-old Michael Granillo went to the emergency room at Northridge Hospital Medical Center in Los Angeles because of intense back pain. Each time, Granillo, who didn't have insurance, stayed for less than an hour before leaving without being seen by a doctor.

    July 23, 2014

  • Why it's basically impossible to delete those naked selfies you text

    If you're selling an old Android smartphone on an online auction site, you could be giving away rather more than you intend to, according to a recent investigation by anti-malware company Avast.

    July 21, 2014

  • Why does the Vatican need a bank?

    The Vatican Bank's history reads more like Dan Brown than the financial pages, but its worst -- and weirdest -- days may be behind it.

    July 18, 2014

  • Almost half of the world actually prefers instant coffee

    Americans' taste in coffee might be getting more high-end _with a growing fixation on perfectly roasted beans, pricier caffeinated concoctions, and artisan coffee brewers - but it turns out a surprisingly big part of the world is going in the opposite direction: toward instant coffee.

    July 17, 2014

  • ent_taylorswift.jpg There's less good music now — here's why

    Taylor Swift, the seven-time Grammy winner, is known for her articulate lyrics, so there was nothing surprising about her writing a long column for The Wall Street Journal about the future of the music industry. Yet there's reason to doubt the optimism of what she had to say.

    July 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Can plants hear? Study finds that vibrations prompt some to boost their defenses

    They have no specialized structure to perceive sound as we do, but a new study has found that plants can discern the sound of predators through tiny vibrations of their leaves - and beef up their defenses in response.

    July 12, 2014

  • wheat1.jpg Backlash has begun against gluten-free dieters

    The swelling ranks of Americans adopting gluten-free diets have given rise to another hot trend: people calling the whole thing a bunch of baloney.

    July 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140516-recalls_1357_88cb85dbc81b724b4ae9c83db4426fd8.jpg Auto recalls break single-year US record with six months to go

    With six months left in 2014, automakers have already recalled more vehicles in the United States than in any other year on record.

    July 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • The science of shyness

    Shy people have quite a bit to contend with - not least the word itself. It has a number of different meanings, none of which are flattering. To "shy away" from something implies avoidance; to "shy" can also mean to move suddenly in fright; to "be shy of" something can mean to come up short, or be insufficient.

    July 8, 2014

  • Wanna write a pop song? Here's a foolproof equation

    Pop songs (generally) stay in one key, are in 4/4 time, last between three and five minutes, are organized into chunks of four or eight bars, have a repeating chorus played two to four times, include the title sung at least three times, and feature short melodic fragments that repeat a lot to help everyone to remember them.

    July 7, 2014